Sunday, March 25, 2012

Worlds Collide

Carver must be going through a growth spurt. His cries for food are increasing in both frequency and intensity. The unfortunate consequence of nature is that I, the lowly father, have little to no direct impact on the child's hunger. Kira tried to step out on an errand last night mostly just to get out of the house for a few minutes. That's about when the man-child decided that he needed a serving of his favorite snack. So Kira can't leave for a moment, and I can't help the boy. 
Something that became apparent to me this week is that having a child tends to take up a significant chunk of time out of one's day. I bet if one were to rank the life events by how much time they suck out of one's daily freedom, somewhere near the top would be "having a newborn". Sadly, I venture to say that "graduate school" would not be too much farther down the list. I was spoiled that Carver was born just before Spring Break, as I was under the illusion that I might survive this semester with my sanity intact. However, now that school and work are back in full swing, doubts are creeping in. I realized recently that I am technically scheduled weekly for 10 hours at the Juvenile Probation Department (my job), 20 hours of teaching assistant duties (my other job), 5 hours of classroom time, with an additional 10 hours of readings and schoolwork, as well as 3 hours of meetings, and about 3 hours of commuting time. If my math is correct, that's 51 hours scheduled into a normal week. Add on top of that my Fridays spent taking Avey out of the house for as long as possible so that Kira can have a moment tending only one child, and my schedule is pretty full. This is all before we factor in the time resources the boy demands.

Don't misunderstand; I am not complaining. I just want to document clearly what these kids are doing to me to guilt them into putting me in the best home money can buy when the years of stress and lack of sleep have finally reduced me to the shadow of a human being that I am slowly but surely approaching.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Roles

Avey lamented earlier today, "I won't be a big sister forever." I asked her what she meant by that, and she told me through a sigh that she would one day grow up and move away. I explained that she would still be Carver's big sister even if she moved away, to which she replied, "No. Then I would be a mommy!"
She was happy to learn that, even though her duties as a big sister may evolve as they both get older, she will always be an important part of Carver's life, and will always be his beloved big sister.

We are thankful to have had lots of help from family members both near and far these last two weeks as we've tried to settle into expanding our exclusive little club. Avey had a holiday at my aunt's while Carver was on the way, this same aunt brought us a delicious lunch the first day we were home, and Kira's mother stayed with us for more than a week, following orders and being Kira's second set of hands. Kira's father even built us an extra shelf in the kids' closet to help with storage space. My mother crafted a beautiful quilt to keep the little guy warm, and other family have provided wonderful gifts, time, and emotional support throughout. We could not have done this without them!

Carver's still doing as well as we could expect with his sleeping/feeding schedule, although we are still excited for the time when he knows the difference between night and day, and can go a full 8 hours between feedings.

He was back to his birth weight this week, and looks chubbier in his midsection. He's generally very quiet and calm, occasionally opening his dark blue eyes to take a peek at the world.

We're humbled by the wonder of new life once again. Perhaps soon I will have more time and brainpower to dedicate to documenting some of my thoughts on becoming a father again. For now, if you need me I'll either be holding him on the couch or passed out somewhere.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 1

Here are some various updates from the first week of Carver's life:

He has been pretty amazing with his sleep already. For the last couple of days he has been going 3 to 5 hours at a time between feedings. During the day, he's a pretty calm little dude unless we're changing his diaper. 
Speaking of diaper changing, the little snot ambushed me last night. Kira and I teamed up to clean up a small diaper mess (one to hold his legs down, one to change the diaper). I drew the short straw, and was thus assigned to changing duty. Carver, always on the prowl, sensed my exposed hand near his rear and blasted me with a warm, fluid shot of poop. He may have won the battle, but the war rages on...
For a Real Celebration
Many have asked how Avey is doing with Carver around. She consciously thinks the world of the little guy. She wants to hold him any chance she gets, dotes on him to no end, and tells us how great it is to have a little brother all the time. Subconsciously, though, it seems there is more going on.
The Ever-Attentive Big Sis'
 She has been more consistently crabby for the last 3 or 4 days than I recall at any other time. We've tried to talk to her about having mixed feelings with a new sibling in the house, but she insists that Carver is not a problem, it's just that we don't let her do everything she wants when she wants that is the problem. Someone suggested today that she is not necessarily territorial against Carver, but with him; she may not be jealous of him, but of his mother. Hopefully we'll get that all sorted out soon, and her cranky spells can come in surprising peaks rather than consistent plateaus.
Her little gem of the week: Avey wanted to do a small project before bed tonight. She pulled out the ruler, masking tape, cut out a small piece of paper, and drew a red 0 on it. When she finished, she explained that she had added a zero to the ruler because it didn't have one! The obvious advantage to this is now we can measure things that are of no length whatsoever. Maybe she'll be a theoretical physicist when she grows up.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Carver's Debut

We're home! After what seems like weeks at the hospital, we are home safe and sound. And so without further ado, we introduce C.C.R.
About 15 Minutes Old
Candid Shot
"I'm Ready For My Closeup."
The Gravity of the Situation Sinks in for Avey
When Avey was checking him out tonight, she wondered aloud, "I wonder what his favorite color is. Maybe we should look it up on the internet!"

Can't yet tell which of us he looks more like, but he has about as much hair as I do. More developments as they come!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Carver Cope Ricks

Carver Cope Ricks joined the world on this day, March 4, 2012, at 1:57 p.m. He weighs 6 lbs. 4 oz. He's got a full head of dark hair. He latched on as soon as Kira tried to nurse him, so he must have a healthy appetite. Kira did amazing; it was a VBAC, and she did it all without medication! I will have pictures as soon as I can get home. Stay tuned!